McDonald welcomes Passing of Mental Health Rights Legislation
Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin All-Ireland spokesperson for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Mary Lou McDonald TD welcomed the passing of legislation that will promote the rights of people accessing mental health care.
The Dublin Central TD said:
“Progress on mental health reform has been painfully slow, and that this why for many people this legislation promoting the rights of those accessing mental health care is an important step in the right direction.
“The work of Mental Health Reform is to be commended as is the tremendous advocacy work of the coalition on behalf of people with mental health difficulties.
“Key to this advocacy work is the acknowledgement of peoples’ autonomy, their right to make decisions regarding the services they access and care they need. However, this is not the experience for too many patients. Delivering on the recommendations of the Expert Group on the Mental Health Act must now be a priority for government.
“Patients must have a statutory right to advocacy. Funding to advocacy services must meet demand. We need a dedicated service for children, and all of this must be underpinned in law and vigorously enforced.
“Sinn Féin welcomes the establishment of the Oireachtas Committee on Mental Health. This committee will be duty bound to deliver progressive rights based priorities for mental health care. However committee members will be fighting with two hands tied behind their backs if the government does not commit itself now to act on the committee’s recommendations in the future.
“The Committee on Mental Health can make a real and substantive contribution to improving mental health services in Ireland and to the people they care, for but this will only happen if the government collectively commits itself to this process.”